Your personal brand goes a long way in determining whether your job search will be successful or not. After all, your personal brand is a huge factor in how you market yourself to potential employers; without a brand you lack the ‘total package’. Your personal brand is a combination of your personality, vision, personal attributes, strengths, and value; it tells your audience what you stand for. You have to remember, in a job search you are essentially selling yourself as the product and every successful product has an effective marketing campaign behind it.
If you already have a well established personal brand GREAT! If not, and you are overwhelmed by the thought of trying to get a personal brand don’t despair. You can’t go out and ‘get’ a brand. You already have one, you just need to follow the three tips below to promote yourself as the ideal candidate and make sure your personal brand is working for you!
Identify Your Brand
If you haven’t done it already you need to pinpoint exactly what your personal brand is. It can be a difficult task as many people don’t feel they have a marketable brand. It can help to ask trusted family, friends, or colleagues for their assistance. Ask them how they would describe you, what they think your best qualities are, and if you can handle it, ask them what your weaknesses are. This will give you a good idea of how others perceive you. It’s often a surprising discovery to see that how you see yourself and how others see you are two different things.
Develop Your Brand
Once you have a good idea of what your brand is you need to develop it, this is your marketing campaign. Research what others in your profession are doing; check out their LinkedIn profiles and professional bios. See what you like and don’t like. Become active on professional networking and social media websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, establish a profile on Google Profile, start a career blog, attend professional functions, and make yourself available as a resource within your profession. It may take a little time and effort but it will be worth it when you become a familiar name and face within your industry.
Maintain Your Brand
Identifying and developing your personal brand is only the beginning; your brand is something that needs continual attention. You can’t just say, “Here is my brand!” and leave it at that. In order to get the most from your brand you need to cultivate it on a regular basis, this will keep it relevant and create a consistency that your audience will appreciate. As important as consistency is to your personal brand if it’s not authentic it won’t matter how consistent you are. If your brand is not an honest reflection of who you are, it will not have the same effect as one that does. Think of it this way, you know how disappointed you are when a product doesn’t live up to the hype? That’s exactly how you don’t want to portray yourself.
by Megan Koehler